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Facebook Manipulating Users - Who Knew


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Slydude

 
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I was listening to the Rush Limbaugh show today and he mentioned how upset many people are due to Facebook's manipulation of user's news feeds. See also Everything We Know About Facebook's Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment - Robinson Meyer - The Atlantic among others.

For me this is one more reason I haven't joined Facebook. Every time I come close to jointing something like this pops up. Does this bother anyone else?

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I heard about this late last week. There are just too many users on Facebook…and with that many users…it's just too tempting for someone to try to figure out a way to leverage all those users to make more money.

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Another reason as to why I don't use Facebook.

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GrannySueSnaps

 
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I'm on Facebook primarily because I haven't been in touch with any of my high school classmates in almost 45 years. (Yes, I graduated before most of you were born) Facebook has been my way of reconnecting and keeping up with what my kids (who aren't actually kids since the youngest one has an 18 yr old son) are doing. However, I do admit I have been considering leaving although not for the reason being discussed. I'm tired of the ads, game requests and heated discussions where they end up mad at each other. What was the name of the site everyone used before Facebook? I think this will eventually go the same route. BTW, I also hate TV commercials.

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pm-r

 
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I'd agree that FB can be annoying as to how they do some things but we use it to keep in touch with family and restricted friends, but you have to use some settings and maybe some tools to control it.

Among those I use besides keeping check on FB own settings are AdBlock and Social Fixer. That keeps most FB things under control for us. And I've just started using Ghostery with my iMac and of course the stand-alone version of FB for iOS 7 has its own set of settings and I get almost no ads.
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Slydude

 
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I've thought about Facebook as a means of keeping in touch with family and lost friends as well. One problem is that I lead a very boring life hence little content for Facebook.

Another issue for me is that at times they have seemed to have little concern for even the most basic privacy considerations. Didn't they have a problem a while ago where if you had a certain privacy level set and shared a page with a friend that friend could share the page with people that you never intended to see the page.

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chscag

 
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Facebook privacy is what it is. Young folks (and some older folks who should know better) arbitrarily post stuff on Facebook that should never be posted in the first place. Social media is not exactly the place where you want the family secrets and skeletons to be displayed.

We know it's getting bad when marriage contracts nowadays include statements about what can and can not be posted regarding your better half on social media!
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GrannySueSnaps

 
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@SlyDude We all see ourselves as boring but there is usually someone who finds it interesting. Yes, it is true that they have had some privacy issues. I never put anything on that I would care if it went to the world. I do tend to not allow my location to be used for anything.

As a side note, I do find a lot of the posts to appear that many are embellished and others are pitiful cries for attention. So many use Facebook as their "social life" for one reason or another. Of course, since I'm a jet setting millionaire I have lots of stories to share from my adventures.

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Slydude

 
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@chscag I guess my problem with Facebook and privacy is a bit more basic than that. Facebook's business model is based entirely on trafficking in information. The more information they are able to gather about users and share with advertisers the more money they make. That alone isn't bad but it doesn't give them much incentive to aggressively protect a user's privacy. At least not until user's complain.

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I have a facebook page but only to keep track of the grandkids. I rarely post anymore than congratulations type messages for former student successes.

The generation that has grown up with facebook do not realize that anything they post could be a problem. The fact they could be exploited by either facebook practices or others trolling for information just doesn't register.

When I was teaching high school, myspace was the popular site for teens. Many where the discussions of what was considered appropriate for online material. It fell on deaf ears and many times I was judged to be out of touch and worrying about nothing. I wonder now how many have come to realize the old lady might have been on to something?

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To me, there is a huge HUGE difference between "studying what you do online" and "manipulating you and studying what harm or good that did."

I think FB crossed a very serious line there -- and as other have pointed out they CHANGED the terms of service to include "research" (a nebulous word at best in the first place) **after** they conducted the "experiment." They knew perfectly well what they were doing was wrong.

Imagine for a minute someone who is suffering from clinical depression and suddenly starts getting nothing but bad news in their newsfeed. Think about the harm that might cause someone who was already a little fragile.

At the time I called the action "Mengele-like" in its complete disregard for the humanity of the users. Now I think I may have under-reacted. Wouldn't be surprised if those FB "scientists" are getting death threats, they'll certainly be sued at the very least.
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Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
At the time I called the action "Mengele-like" in its complete disregard for the humanity of the users. Now I think I may have under-reacted.
Did you seriously just compare this to the doctor most widely known for Nazi-era deadly medical experiments and the advocacy of the gas chambers only to suggest that this was an understatement? This is a man who sent 600 women to the gas chambers because of a typhus epidemic, and, who on taking on the responsibility of separating Jews into two categories (gas chambers or work) "undertook the task with a flamboyant air, often smiling or whistling a tune." I don't even have words to describe just how misinformed and insensitive this comment is.

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Set up a facebook account in mid-2009 when I was invited to a major conference & exhibition overseas. The conference took place in November 2009, killed it off (the facebook account that is ) shortly thereafter, never looked back. Same with the Twatter ... I don't do Google either

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I have a hate and hate relationship with Facebook. Yet I use it. As far as privacy is concerned I never put anything on it that I don't care for the entire world to know. Hence everything I post is public. Heck Obama doesn't need a overly paid CIA operative to view my page were I call him an idiot. I also just hate the way Facebook is laid out, lack of customization and that 2/3rds of the user interface are advertisements or Facebook trying to figure out what color my back hair is. I can't believe people left MySpace for this crap. Its mind numbing. I miss the days were you could make your own website and it be hosted on Geocities, ICQ was the way to communicate and you needed to get into an IRC group to get the good MP3s... How this world has went down hill...


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Quote:
Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
I don't even have words to describe just how misinformed and insensitive this comment is.
You may wish to go back and read what I said again. It's about the FB staff having a *fundamental disconnect from the humanity of their users,* and yes when you get to that state where human beings are just subjects for experiments that you don't need to get consent before manipulating them, you have hit a "Mengele"-like state. My Jewish family whole-heartedly agree with me that it is precisely that sociopathic mindset that leads to very dark ends, which is the point you completely missed.

I suppose I could have compared them to the people who conducted the Tuskegee Syphillis Study or the Stanford Electrocution Penalty tests, but I don't think most people know about those things. It's a comparison of the detachment and arrogance that both the FB "researchers" and (given group of horribly misguided "scientists") have that is being compared, not the experiment themselves.

Sorry you didn't understand that. Hope you understand it now.
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